When your father threw a fist to your face, you said, “Don’t you ever do that to me again.”
When I flung the f-bomb down a staircase, you said, “Don’t ever use that word.” From the inset of my collarbones to my chest cavity leaked shame.
Dusting showroom bathroom tiles you said someday we’d build a house together. You could name all the different kinds of rock.
“Never disobey me,” you said, shaking me like a half-empty piñata. Cereal before dinner: never again. Your eyes were jasper.
“What did you say?” you said, when I said stop. You chased me, catching my pre- or pro- or bi- frontal cortex—the region responsible for longterm memory.
We climbed to the top of Colorado’s highest peak and sat. Hershey’s, the worst chocolate of all, tasted delicious. I loved you.
“I love you,” said you, “But I don’t like you.” I could have slit your zebra-colored chairs in two with my just-green-beans-hold-the-steak knife. But I was a terrible roommate.
I’m sweating inside while it’s raining. It thunders far away. Across eons of internet, I crave a disyllabic sentence: “Sorry.”
You send me your new Linkedin profile.
But how could I not reply?
I can’t say no, not ever.
Author: Caroline Beaton